[Source: Williams News.com, Jackie Banks, Kaibab National Forest] — Archaeology is good dirty fun! Or so proclaims the bumper sticker on the truck owned by the Kaibab National Forest’s heritage program manager. And, many people seem to agree, if the volunteer turnout at this year’s Passport in Time project is any indication. From Sept. 21-27, 17 volunteers contributed 880 hours to helping Forest Service archaeologists understand more about the prehistoric people who lived in the lands south of the Grand Canyon that are now part of the Kaibab National Forest.
“This program is so enjoyable,” said Ted Ockrassa, a retired photographer for the Department of the Army who traveled from Salome to participate. “I’ve been interested in archaeology all my life. I kind of missed my calling.”
Passport in Time is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the Forest Service. The goal of PIT is to preserve the nation’s past with the help of the public. Volunteers work with professional Forest Service archaeologists on diverse activities such as surveys and excavation, rock art restoration, historic structure restoration, analysis of artifacts and more. The Kaibab National Forest has hosted a PIT project annually for the last 18 years. Over those years, more than 300 volunteers have contributed about 13,000 hours to the Kaibab heritage program. That equals more than six person years of work completed by volunteers.